B.C. voters have become accustomed in recent years to finding out, based on the numbers back east, who the next prime minister of Canada is mathematically going to be before the final votes in this province have even been counted. This time could be different. Thirty new electoral districts have been created since the 2011 federal election, and British Columbia is home to six of them, including Vancouver Granville. Vancouver residents only voted in one MP belonging to the current ruling party last time, and the city’s total of six ridings could help tip the balance of power Oct. 19 in this tightly contested election campaign. Ridings that have traditionally voted along certain party lines are also more of a crapshoot now that they have new boundaries and new demographics.
The downtown core’s riding has shrunk since the last election after losing its southern tail to the newly minted Vancouver-Granville riding. A Liberal stronghold for the past 22 years ever since a first-time candidate put an end to the brief reign of Prime Minister Kim Campbell, the riding’s new southern border stretches along Arbutus Street to Main Street along West Sixth Avenue below Fairview Slopes, West Fourth Avenue in Kitsilano, and East Second Avenue below Mount Pleasant.
Incumbent Hedy Fry first won the riding in 1993 and is now the longest-serving Liberal MP in B.C. history. Born into poverty in the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago, Fry became a family physician who worked at the West End’s St. Paul’s Hospital for 20 years after immigrating to Canada. She is currently the party’s health critic. Fry served as Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and Status of Women from 1996 to 2002, when she was shuffled out of Cabinet not long after making infamous claims in Parliament about crosses burning on lawns in Prince George, B.C. She ran unsuccessfully for the leadership of the Liberal Party in 2006 and has also served as president of the Vancouver and British Columbia Medical Associations.
Elaine Allan has an extensive background in the non-profit sector and has served as executive director of Shelter Net B.C. and director of the John Howard Society of the Lower Mainland. Due to her role as a former manager of the Downtown Eastside’s W.I.S.H. Drop-in Centre, she became a key witness at the murder trial of Robert “Willie” Pickton and testified that police lied to her when she attempted to file a Missing Person’s Report regarding one of his victims. Journalist Stevie Cameron dedicated her book On the Farm about the botched investigation in her honour.
A former mayor of Bowen Island, Air Canada flight attendant, Yaletown art gallery owner and COPE’s top vote earner running for city council in the 2014 municipal election, Lisa Barrett now practises mediation and is a member of the British Columbia Arbitration and Mediation Institute. She also serves as a director with Pacific Policies and works with Rising Tide, a grassroots organization dedicated to fighting climate change, as well as the Canadian Community Economic Development Network. Barrett holds a law degree from Cambridge University and also serves on the fundraising board for Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada.
A former two-term Vision Vancouver park board commissioner and current senior executive at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Constance Barnes is the daughter of the late MLA Emery Barnes and was instrumental in the creation of a new Yaletown park named in his honour. Barnes is an outspoken opponent of keeping cetaceans inside the Vancouver Aquarium. She is a member of the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. and is a former trustee of the Vancouver Public Library Board. A recovering alcoholic who was charged with DUI after crashing her car into a house in 2009, she currently sits on the board of directors of the Avalon Recovery Society.
John Clarke ran as the party’s candidate in the 2013 provincial election for the Vancouver-West End riding and in the 2006 federal election for Vancouver-Centre.
Michael Hill ran unsuccessfully in Vancouver Centre in 2011 and came in last with 62 votes.
The riding, which includes the Downtown Eastside, Chinatown, Strathcona and Grandview-Woodland neighbourhoods, is known for its working class roots. Voters have, apart from two brief flirtations with the Liberal party, elected NDP candidates every election since the party was founded back in 1961. Deputy NDP leader Libby Davies, who has held the seat since 1997, has chosen to retire at age 60 rather than run for a seventh term.
After nearly 20 years as the NDP MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant, Jenny Kwan is hoping to make the jump to federal politics. Kwan moved to Canada from Hong Kong as a child and, at age 26, became the youngest person in Vancouver history to be elected to city council. In 1996, she became one of the first Chinese-Canadians to sit in the provincial legislature and went on to serve as Minister of Municipal Affairs, Minister of Women’s Equality and Minister of Community Development, Cooperatives and Volunteers. Kwan has also drawn controversy for playing a key role in the ousting of Carole James as NDP party leader in 2010 and for an expense scandal last year over her ex-husband Dan Small having billed the non-profit Portland Hotel Society for a family trip to Disneyland.
James Low has a low profile. The ruling party’s website doesn’t offer any biographical information about the bald, bespectacled man of Asian heritage seen in campaign posters, and Low has no discernible online presence. He also chose not to appear at a recent all-candidates meeting.
A long-time East Side resident, the Inuvik-born Wes Regan is an urban geographer and former executive director of the Hastings Crossing Business Improvement Association. He also teaches at Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Sustainable Community Development and is a co-founder of Groundswell, a grassroots “alternatives to business” school.
Edward Wong is a lawyer who has served as a director of Junior Achievement of British Columbia and on the executive committee of Junior Achievement of Canada.
Peter Marcus is a retired hospital worker and former trade unionist who is calling for increased public housing, expanded healthcare and free public transit.
Shawn Vulliez is a self-described “interdisciplinary anti-misanthropy crusader” running on a platform advocating for intellectual property reform, privacy protection and greater government openness.
Anne Jamieson, a retired nurse with a PhD is sociology, has been with the party since its inception in 1971 and earned 318 votes as a candidate in the 2011 election.
D. Alex Millar, a writer and former school teacher who now works in customer relations for a software company, is running in order to help bring greater awareness to Bitcoin as an alternative to the flawed global monetary system.
The city’s newest riding was created by taking chunks of Vancouver-Centre (38 per cent), Vancouver-Quadra (18 per cent), Vancouver-South (26 per cent) and Vancouver-Kingsway (19 per cent); ridings that, respectively, voted in two Liberals, one Conservative and one NDPer last time around. The district includes all or major portions of the Marpole, Oakridge, Shaughnessy, South Cambie, Fairview and Riley Park-Little Mountain neighbourhoods.
Erinn Broshko is a corporate lawyer and former CEO of a biotechnology company who now works as managing director of an international investment firm. He serves as a director of the non-profit Down Syndrome Research Foundation.
Jody Wilson-Raybould is a lawyer, member of the We Wai Kai Nation and Regional Chief of the B.C. Assembly of First Nations. She began her legal career as a crown prosecutor in Vancouver and later served as an advisor at the B.C. Treaty Commission. Wilson-Raybould carries the Kwak’wala name Puglaas, which means “woman born to noble people.”
Mira Oreck is the director of public engagement for the Broadbent Institute, a left wing think tank, and a veteran Vision Vancouver campaign strategist. Oreck has also worked as a developer of media campaigns and helped produce two popular ads featuring Sarah Silverman and Samuel L. Jackson endorsing U.S. President Barack Obama as part of his 2012 re-election bid. (Silverman endorsed Oreck via Twitter) Oreck serves on the City of Vancouver Renters Advisory Committee and as a member of the PuSh International Performing Arts festival fundraising committee.
A certified general accountant, Michael Barkusky is the president of the Pacific Institute for Ecological Economics and one of the founders of the Adam Va-Adamah Jewish Environmental Society. He has served on the boards of the B.C. Mountaineering Club, the False Creek Watershed Society, the B.C. Chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, and the Canadian Society for Ecological Economics.
Vancouver-Kingsway, much like the provincial riding Vancouver-Kingsway, has a long history of electing NDP candidates. The NDP has won 12 of the 18 elections held since the riding was formed in 1953, although voters once re-elected a Liberal, David Emerson, who promptly crossed the floor to become a Tory cabinet minister. More than half the population are immigrants, and Vancouver-Kingsway has the distinction of being home to the most Buddhists per capita of any riding in Canada.
Incumbent Don Davies won easily in the last election, earning roughly 10,000 more votes than Tory runner-up Trang Nguyen. A former director of legal services for the Teamsters union (Local 31) until first being elected in 2008, Davies is currently the Official Opposition Critic for International Trade, Deputy Critic for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, and Vice-Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade.
Jojo Quimpo, a paralegal and musician who immigrated in 1996, is well-known in the city’s Filipino-Canadian community through helping organize the annual Pinoy Fiesta, billed as the largest street parade and festival of its kind in Canada. Quimpo’s candidacy drew controversy last year after other members of the Filipino community pointed out discrepancies in his resume on LinkedIn, which has since been deleted.
Steven Kou is a certified general accountant and a former executive director at the Bank of Montreal. Kou is the founder of Ekon Wealth Management, which specializes in providing services for Chinese immigrants to Canada. He is also the executive vice-president of the Canada Chinese Investors and Entrepreneurs Association.
Catherine Moore provides “accounting and administrative support to Operations and General Managers” and has volunteer experience at with the Navy League of Canada, the YMCA and local community centres.
Kimball Cariou is the editor of the People’s Voice newspaper and was a frequent sight at the Occupy Vancouver encampment in 2011. He is an anti-war activist and vocal supporter of equal rights.
Donna Petersen is an education worker and activist who can be heard frequently on Vancouver Co-op Radio. Peterson also ran to be an MP in the last two elections. Petersen, a member of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, made headlines in 2005 during the teachers’ strike after preventing buses from leaving the Burnaby Transit Centre while she picketed with a sign.
Matt Kadioglu is a realtor and the party’s candidate in this riding in 2008.
This West Side riding is the sixth wealthiest riding in Canada and its most highly educated, with more than half of voters holding some sort of university degree or certificate. Vancouver-Quadra, which has lost some of its former territory east of Arbutus Street, has consistently voted Liberal since electing former Prime Minister John Turner in 1984.
A former provincial environment and government services minister, incumbent Joyce Murray was elected an MP in 2008 after first running in 2006. Murray came in second place behind Justin Trudeau to be the new party leader in 2013 and is currently the party’s critic for both national defence and Western diversification and chair of its Northern and Western Caucus.
Blair Lockhart is a lawyer specializing in securities, corporate and mining law. She was the founding faculty lead of BCIT’s Centre for Mine Economics and Business and has taught environmental law at Capilano University and UBC.
Kris Constable is an IT security specialist and advisor for a consulting firm specializing in the areas of privacy law who has worked with the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic as well as to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia. He also blogs for the Huffington Post, helped organize three IdeaWave conferences on Vancouver Island and is a former president of the Canadian Pacific Lawn Bowling Club and director of the Together Against Poverty Society.
Scott Andrews is a regional manager for Pivot Point Family Growth Centre, which helps support adults with disabilities, and is a co-founder of Youth in Development, a Vancouver-based organization that offers Canadian university students hands-on experience with international development work in Uganda.
Marc Boyer has multiple convictions for selling marijuana dating back to 1980. His most recent was in 2009, when he argued unsuccessfully that the court lacked jurisdiction to sentence him because he was not technically a person due to his birth in Ontario having been improperly registered.
Jean-Francois Caron, a PhD student in experimental particle physics at UBC, is a member of the University Endowment Lands’ community advisory council and is active in Vancouver’s cycling community as part of the AMS Bike Co-op.
Trevor Clinton Walper is a BCIT student and former Occupy Vancouver medic.
Generally considered a swing seat, the riding has one of the largest immigrant populations in the province, with new Canadians and their offspring accounting for around three quarters of all residents. The redefined borders has the riding losing former territory west of Cambie Street and gaining a small area in the northeast from Vancouver-Kingsway. It now stretches from Granville Street to Burnaby and south from West. 41st Avenue to the Fraser River.
After losing the Vancouver-South race to Liberal incumbent Ujjal Dosanjh by 20 votes in 2008, Wai Young got her revenge after beating him by roughly 4,000 in 2011 to become the first Conservative MP elected in the city since 1988. Originally from Hong Kong, Young is the chair of the Canada-China Legislative Association and helped procure $2.5 million in federal funding towards building the long-promised Killarney Seniors Centre. She drew controversy last year after mailing her constituents flyers that inaccurately claimed Justin Trudeau was pushing marijuana on children, and again two months ago after giving a speech comparing Stephen Harper to Jesus and falsely accusing CSIS of knowing in advance about plans for the bombing of Air India Flight 182 in 1985.
Considered a star candidate in the party’s hope of reclaiming the riding, Harjit Sajjan is a former Vancouver police officer who worked with the Gang Crime Unit and a decorated combat veteran with the Canadian Armed Forces who has served three separate deployments to Afghanistan. Sajjan is also the first Sikh to command a Canadian army regiment — a reserve regiment known as the Duke of Connaught’s Own. His candidacy was nonetheless controversial within the Sikh community as he is the son of Kundan Sajjan, who led fundamentalists in a losing battle with moderates over control of the Ross Street Temple back in the ’80s. Hundreds of Sikhs reportedly quit the party in protest of his being named the candidate over prominent businessman Barj Dhahan, who is considered an ally of former MP Ujjal Dosanjh.
Amandeep Nijjar is a finance officer working for COPE 378 and a worker’s rights activist who campaigned to force the B.C. Liberal government to raise the minimum wage to $10.25 per hour in 2010. One of her top priorities is ensuring affordable childcare is available to Vancouver South families.
Elain Ng is an independent mortgage broker and has more than two decades of experience working in various capacities in the financial sector. She is an active member of the Vancouver Board of Trade and has been a mentor to a number of their university and college students.
Charles Boylan is an ESL teacher and public affairs broadcaster on Co-Op Radio who has been a member of the party since 1973.
Raj Gupta ran unsuccessfully as both a mayoral candidate in Burnaby and city council candidate in New Westminster during the last civic election.
Note: This story has been corrected since first posted.